As of today I have completed a small group course of study based on Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life. I am still finishing up the book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to feel completely inadequate. Ha! No! Just kidding. I recommend it to anyone who feels their life must surely be part of a “bigger picture” and wants to learn more. Rick Warren is a fascinating guy with an interesting take on things. Many of his ideas transcend “things that make you go ‘hmmm'” and head straight into “things that make your head want to explode.” As a divorced Christian reared in Jewish guilt, this is the kind of thing that makes my heart sing, I tell you.
Anyway. To mark our last meeting, we decided to have a potluck lunch together. This is partially because Methodists love to eat and partially because Warren actually talks about the role of eating together in fellowship several times (both within the book, and on the companion video the class uses). He points out that Jesus often dined with the disciples and taught during meals. This is, he says, because “it is impossible not to be relaxed while eating.” Thus, this is a good time to learn.
It is impossible not to be relaxed while eating?? Well, now I have learned… that Rick Warren is not a woman. Which I think I may have already known. But just for the record, yes, Rick Warren has never tried to scarf a meal down while refereeing two bickering children discussing when their “butt’s birthdays” are (yes, really), Rick Warren has never eaten an entire bag of oreos after being laid off in the midst of a nasty divorce, and Rick Warren has most certainly never had a meal or even a snack while his heart was broken or he had PMS. Check.
I do agree with the “teachableness” (is that a word?) of feast times, though. You want me to accept Jesus Christ as my savior when there’s a big basket of Pepperidge Farm Raspberry Milanos in front of me? Sure thing. I will also revere the lint in your belly button if you throw in a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s World’s Best Vanilla. So he may be on to something about the connection between evangelism and eating, but I don’t think relaxation has anything to do with it.
I could be wrong, though. If you think I am, come on over with some snacks and we can discuss it.